It seems to me there are very few paintings/prints from the summits of mountains, when you consider that one of the main motivators of climbing the mountain in the first place, is the view! So I am making a concerted effort to rebalance this situation.
First attempt from Cul Mor with reputedly beautiful views across Assynt and Coigach - unfortunately we arrived in a snow storm in May - even if I could have been persuaded to get my paints out - there would have been little to see although what was seen was dramatic!
Second attempt from the summit of Cul Beag - in the pipeline.
3rd from Quinag - not really happy with the composition but could be tweaked.
From Suilven - sadly in a cloud! - I will have to go back for the view.
So this is the view from Canisp. I am not totally happy with it - might need to play with it.
For geologists - quartzite rocks on the top of Canisp. Torridonian sandstone ( Suilven) and everywhere else cnoc and lochan gneiss.
The image below is the watercolour sketch painted en plein aire at the top of Canisp - in the sun - way hey. I mainly work from watercolour sketches - I find photographs very difficult to work from
The collagraph print and the watercolour sketch that was the inspiration. The focus of this print is the subtle colours of the sky and sea.
Anotherr print from Assynt/Coigach. I am finding it difficult to transfer from my small xcut xpress print with Caligo safewash inks to the enormous etching press with oil based inks at Edinburgh Printmakers - one edition of Fidra as been binned - I hope to resurrect that plate later watch this space. This print worked. The original watercolour sketch is below.
After our trip up to the far North West of Scotland I came home with many plein aire watercolour sketches. The first image I transformed into a collagraph was of Loch Assynt.
This is the original watercolour sketch
I used 2 plates to keep the blue clean. I printed the collagraphs at Edinburgh Printmakers - nice to be back there.
Artin Iran Nezhad's little body washed up on a Norwegian beach 3 months after he drowned with his whole family attempting crossing the Channel. I felt this story needed including in Just the clothes on their backs: bear witness an installation in Mouth of the Shark an exhibition in the Lord Mayor's Pavilion Cork July 8-31st.
I trawled the charity shops for an appropriate hoodie which I taped down and then lay a PVC sheet on it and traced the clothing with a Dremmel engraver. I have been exploring all manner of acrylic type materials and engraving tools and I chose these because I could easily and cheaply get large sheets of PVC. The Dremmel engraver is very efficient at markmaking on PVC.
I used photoshop to scale and flip the other images I wanted on the hoodie
I inked up the plate with etching ink and carefully wiped it clean. I soaked the silk in water and blotted it. I lay the plate on the etching press and the damp silk on top - then newsprint and blankets and rolled it through the press
I hung it out to dry on a clothesline - it will be part of an installation telling migrant stories on items of clothing hanging on a clothesline. Many migrants travel with just the clothes on their backs. The installation imagines the clothes can talk and what they would say.
We stayed at Durness campsite - the beach Sanyo bay has amazing sea stacks - formed of Moine mylonites! Had lovely waves as well
When we travel I usually slot in quick sketches in between walking, canoeing, geologising -whatever the days activity is. On the 25th I had a whole day to myself to drive around sketching. First up Suilven -which is an iconic mountain -whichever angle you see it from. ( the next day I climbed it but it was shrouded in clouds -I shall have to go back again for the views)
This is Cul Mor behind a really rather nice green corrugated house.
Ardvreck castle in front of Quinag. When I started the sketch there were beautiful reflections in the Loch. However, the wind came up - I have photos so they could be incorporated in the collagraph.
I wanted to concentrate on this trip on mountain top views. This image is my best attempt -the view from Canisp to Suilven. One reason is because it was warm and sunny -a it produced better light. B -I could take more time as my companions were not getting cold.
This is the view from the col on Quinag looking down on Suilven - a wonderful view -but it simply does not make a great composition. It would be improved by working on the foreground which was not given much time. Part of the problem was that it was blowing a hoodie and I could only sketch out of the wind.
And this one is simply dreadful - it was quite dull and I used a pre-grounded paper -which has resulted in complete lack of tone. It was also very cold and windy
The Summer Isles from near Achiltibuie
Assynt and Coigach mountains-and Scourie from Handa Island
The view from Droman across to Oldshore beag